UK-Vietnam project wins Newton Prize

Thursday, 2017-11-16 11:24:55
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Two researchers at the awards ceremony
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NDO - Two researchers from Vietnam and the UK have been awarded the Newton Prize, worth GBP 200,000 for their joint project on a designed communications system that can work even when extreme weather and natural disasters strike.

The lead researchers Dr. Vo Nguyen Son from Duy Tan University, and his UK-based counterpart Dr. Trung Duong from Queen’s University Belfast were honoured at a ceremony held in Hanoi on November 16.

Their winning project, ‘Building a foundation for sustainable development networked societies for the cities of tomorrow,’ focuses on designing an integrated heterogeneous wireless system (IHWS), which is robust in maintaining communications during disasters such as floods, landslides, and droughts.

It copes with issues such as physical destruction of telecommunications networks, lack of power supply, and network congestion. The system also provides early warning of natural disasters by detecting water level, vibration, and wind. In cities, the IWHS can detect increases in dust, temperature, noise, and carbon dioxide levels.

Sharing his sentiments at the awards ceremony, Dr. Trung Duong said that he was pleased to have won the 2017 Newton Prize, “which will allow myself and my team to provide citizens with better warning, measurement tools and education initiatives.”

British Ambassador to Vietnam, Giles Lever, said that as a dynamic emerging economy with a strong vision of the importance of science and innovation in human development, Vietnam is a natural partner for the global Newton Fund.

He expressed his belief that by working together and leveraging each other's strengths, we can achieve more than what we would achieve alone.

The Newton Prize is an annual GBP 1 million fund sponsored by the Newton Fund Programme. It is awarded for the best research or innovation that promotes economic development and social welfare in developing countries.

More than 150 Newton funded projects, fellowships, or other awards applied for this year’s Prize from India, Malaysia, Thailand, and Vietnam with 25 shortlisted applications in total and five Prizes of up to GBP 200,000 having been awarded to each winner.

Launched in 2014, the Newton Fund Programme Vietnam is the first formal research and innovation partnership programme between the UK and Vietnamese Governments. Endorsed by Vietnam’s Ministry of Science and Technology and the UK Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, the programme aims to support Vietnam’s economic and social development through science and innovation as well as recognise challenges and support Vietnam’s research and innovation to be more impactful.

Over the last three and a half years, the fund has disbursed nearly GBP 5 million in 162 grants that benefit nearly 400 individuals, mostly researchers from 60 Vietnamese and 43 UK research organisations.